- JUST DON’T MENTION WWII ALBANIAN NAZI COLLABORATORS
by Sasha Uzunov
The United States Ambassador to Kosovo has joined the ranks of his diplomatic colleague across the border in Macedonia in not wanting to comment nor be drawn into debate over the very touchy subject of rehabilitation of Albanian Nazi collaborators during World War II by the Kosovo state authorities and by the Albanian political bloc in Macedonia.
“The U.S. Embassy has no comment. Sorry that I cannot be of further help,” said Mr Richard Mei,
Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Pristina, on behalf of Ambassador Delawie.
But post World War II, during the Cold War (1946-89) and the showdown with communism and the Soviet Union, US intelligence cooped ex Nazi collaborators, conveniently turning a a blind eye to their previous activities.
In 2012 during centenary celebrations for Albanian independence, Kosovo President Atitefe Jahjaga -pictured here with US President Barak Obama and wife Michelle- awarded posthumously the Order of Kosovo (Urdhrin i Lirise) to Albanian leaders and signatories of the Albanian declaration of independence in 1912, including Mithat Frasheri, Rexhep Mitrovica and Bedri Pejani. see link here
All three leaders went on to collaborate with Nazi Germany during the later stages of World War II in establish and maintaining a Greater Albania until the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Major Balli Kombetar leaders in Macedonia were Xhem Hasa and Aqif Krosi Recani. Both have statues erected in their “honour” near the town of Gostivar by the Albanian political bloc in Macedonia.
Frasheri fled to Italy after the collapse of Nazi Germany and somehow ended up in the US post war as one of the leaders of The National Committee for a Free Albania, sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The use of Albanian Nazi collaborators by the CIA post WWII.
- Dr James D. Callanan (1999) in his thesis - The evolution of the CIA’s covert action mission, 1947-1963, Durham University, UK, page 117 - see link here - wrote:
"The National Committee for a Free Albania was, however, far from a perfect construct for Anglo-American requirements, not least because the majority of Balli Kombetar's leaders were tainted as a result of their involvement in the administration of Albania while it was under Axis control."
Frasheri died in 1949 in the US.
Hermann Neubacher - Nazi German diplomat on his Mission in Albania 1943-4, helped in setting up a Nazi German puppet state in Albania. He wrote:
"The men of [Albanian nationalist militia] Balli Kombëtar never did battle with our [German Wehrmacht] troops."
REXHEP MITROVICA (1887-1961) & BEDRI PEJANI (1885-1946)
When Italian Fascist rule of Albania collapsed in 1943, Nazi Germany took control and installed Rexhep Mitrovica (right) as Prime Minister. Mitrovica later resigned due to poor health, a battle with tuberculosis. Eventually fleeing Albania and dying in Istanbul, Turkey in 1961.
- More on Rexhep Mitrovica at these links here and here
Mitrovica, together with Bedri Pejani (left) were instrumental -with Nazi German assistance - in setting up the Second Prizren League, which advocated and put into brutal practice a racially pure ethnic Greater Albania.
Pejani was described as fanatically pro Nazi, crazed, bloodthirst. Was responsible for ethnically cleansing 20,000 Serbs from Kosovo. Later executed by Yugoslav partisans. - More on Pejani at these links here and here
TEAM UZUNOV blog has contacted the Office of Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci, the incumbent, for a response over his predecessor’s decision to award medals to the three Albanian Nazi collaborators.
As yet no response has been forthcoming.
TEAM UZUNOV blog question to US Ambassador to Kosovo, Mr Greg Delawie:
I wanted to bring to your attention an issue which paints the US in a very negative light as well Kosovo.
In 2012 the then Kosovo President Ms Atitefe Jahjaga awarded posthumously Kosovo state decorations / medals - the Order of Freedom - to…Albanian Nazi collaborators from World War II, Rexhep Mitrovica and Midthat Frasheri.
Ambassador, will you be counselling the current Kosovo President Mr Hashim Thaci to revoke the awards ?
Is it appropriate in this day and age for Nazi collaborators to be commemorated as national heroes?
Previous story GERMANY RESPONDS TO ALBANIAN “NAZI” STATUES IN MACEDONIA - see link here
1949 CIA assessment paper - Strategic importance of Albania !
"Strategic: Historically, the strategic significance of Albania derives from the country's position on the Eastern shore of the Strait of Otranto, at the entrance to the Adriatic and astride the land route between the Adriatic and the Aegean. In this position, Albania has long been a focal point of conflicting power interests, especially those of Greece, Italy, and the Slays. Thus Albania as an "independent" national state is more an artificial creation of Great Power politics, than an expression of national will and power of the people. Albania is, in other words, an entity arising from the essentially negative factor of the unwillingness of any of the Powers interested in the area to allow any other power to control it; it does not arise from positive factors of inherent strength, and therefore, even during periods of formal “independence,” Albania has in one way or another been controlled by one of the Powers.”
After NATO’s War in Kosovo in 1999 and the fall of Slobodan Milosevic regime in Serbia in 2000, a unitary Macedonia state is no longer of strategic importance to the US as a buffer state to Serbia. Are other dynamics now in play - a federalised Macedonia? A partitioned Macedonia?
It's no coincidence that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) invaded Macedonia in 2001 with covert US support in order for Washington to establish a long term "insurance policy" in the Southern Balkans which links up with the US base at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo in a powerful axis.
There has been a deliberate silence from the West over the rise of Albanian Neo-Fascism in the Balkans, including Macedonia- the rehabilitation of Albanian Nazi collaborators of World War II and the statues built to them in Macedonia - Xhem Hasa and Aqif Krosi Recani. further story here
You don’t see modern day Germany or Austria building statues to Nazis.
THE REMNANTS OF SERB-YUGOSLAVIST CULTURAL COLONIALISM:
Other factors are in play - namely cultural - in 1991 after the collapse of Yugoslavia and Macedonia’s declaration of independence, Macedonia’s powerful Serb-Yugoslavist grouping split into 2 factions - one that remained loyal to Belgrade and the second faction (for example Macedonian Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska who switches between a Macedonian and Serb identity when the mood hits here, pundit Borjan Jovanovski, Skopje suburban Mayor Sasa Bogdanovic, Macedonian MP Pavle Bogoevski, Levica Movement leader Branimir Jovanovski, Balkan Insight reporter Sinisa Jakov Marusic etc. etc.) that aligned with Washington. Both factions don’t believe in supporting native ethnic Macedonian identity and subscribe to the Pan-slavist, Slav Migration Theory, introduced into what is now the Republic of Macedonia during Serbian colonial rule (1912-41).
When Macedonia was needed in the US’s struggle against Slobodan Milosevic, the nasty attack on native Macedonian identity by Macedono-Serb Borjan Jovanovski and others like him didn’t receive much support from the US. But that has now been reversed - which indicates the US is no longer interested in a unitary Macedonian state.
- further stories here and here and here
Bulgaria joining NATO and hosting 4 US military bases is of more strategic importance to the US than Macedonia is. Before Bulgaria joined NATO, ironically, the Serb-Yugoslavist pro US faction acted as a buffer against Bulgarian influences in Macedonia, especially the shameful antics of then Macedonian PM Ljubco Georgievski and the powerful pro Bulgarian faction within the nominally Macedonian nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party.
That has obviously now changed with SDSM (Social Democrats) party led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, once the pro Serb-Yugoslavist party of choice in Macedonia, signing a “Good neighbourly Agreement” with Bulgaria - in which Macedonia promised to give up the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria and cave into Bulgarian demands to soften or airbrush Bulgaria’s brutal Nazi quisling occupation of Macedonia during World War II.
Any opposition to Bulgarian influence in Macedonia has been removed. The concomitant of that is the Macedonian Orthodox Church coming under Bulgarian jurisdiction. Something that would have been unheard of 18 months ago. Furthermore, SDSM, like its rival VMRO-DPMNE before it, is in a coalition government with right-wing Albanian nationalists, DUI, who invoke Albanian fascist collaborators as heroes and builds statues to them.
- further stories here and here and here
It's no coincidence, too, that the US has deliberately groomed politician Radmila Sekerinska, now Macedonia's Defence Minister, as a future leader. She opportunistically interchanges between a Macedonian and Serb identity when the mood strikes her and doesn’t feel a real connection to native ethnic Macedonian identity. see link here
Likewise, the US to hedge its bets and counter balance the pro US Serb-Yugoslavist faction in Macedonia, has carefully groomed Nikola Dimitrov, now the foreign Minister of Macedonia, who comes from a pro Bulgarian family. see links here and here
Greece is a long standing US ally which has been funded by Washington since 1946 and for a long time hosted US military bases on its soil - which have now been relocated to Bulgaria and Romania. One US Naval base remains on the island of Crete.
Greece is the US and NATO's southern flank overseeing the important Mediterranean Sea.
This explains why the US has never leaned on Greece to stop its outrageous opposition to Macedonia's name. In 1995 Macedonia caved in to Greek demands and changed its flag and gave up its ethnic minority in Greece but to no avail.
2004 - NAME RECOGNITION
In 2004 the US recognised Macedonia’s name for purely cynical reasons to stop a referendum that would have thrown a spanner in the works in the territorial reorganisation of Macedonia - meaning creating a defacto Albanian state within Macedonia. further story here
The Russian fear is a smokescreen pure and simple. Russia poses no threat to Macedonia.
The obvious giveaway that there is no Russian “interference” in Macedonia is you have the staunchly pro US Serb-Yugoslavist faction in Macedonia- i.e. Serbs such as Borjan Jovanovski, Sasa Bogdanovic etc. etc. who share the same hostile views towards native ethnic Macedonians as many hard core Serb nationalists in Belgrade who hate the US…and who turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin for salvation.
The US Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia doesn't deny that some of its key supporters hold such views ! Moreover, there have been no protests outside the Serb Embassy in Skopje.
This tells you loud and clear there is no Russian interference in Macedonia.
WORST CASE SCENARIOS FLOATED:
In 2017 during a US Comgressional hearing, US expert Professor Daniel Serwer mentioned the possibility of a long term US military occupation of Macdonia which would oversee the partition of the country if “nation building failed"- a large slice being given to the Albanians and what was left over would be "allowed to vote" to join a neighbouring state - Greece, Bulgaria or Serbia.
In 2007 the US Embassy warned against raising Albanian on par with Macedonian as an official language in Macedonia - knowing it would lead to federalisation and then unravelling of Macedonia.
2007 - US Diplomatic cable - link here
- further stories here and here
The 2007 OSCE report is of enormous interest as covered by writer Chris Deliso - “Albanians in Tetovo Stunned by OSCE Official’s Call for Minority Language Obligations, but Government Fails to Capitalize” - link here
NAME CHANGE ?
Macedonia is now on the threshold of changing its name - more precisely the pro US government in Macedonia is - to appease Greek nationalist demands. With the change and bilingualism, it means the end of a Macedonian nation-state. You have to ask why is there a need for a third Albanian state in the Balkans - when Albanian and Kosovo exist but Macedonians have barely one state?